The best Right-handed batter on the Major League club is also a 3rd Baseman and he happens to be 2 years away from his peak year still. Nothing short of an OPS of .840+ every year for the next 4 years is expected using every formula that's out there.
While probably somewhere around 15 errors is the norm for a 3rd Baseman I would think, his 7 errors above that (22 on the year) are something we can hope will decrease next season. He's displays often some mad defensive skills, like the double-play he started a couple nights ago.
I can't see Jockety moving EE over the next 2 years as he's cheap and he hits well, and is our best Right-handed power. It's got to be a 20-1 shot that EE gets moved before the end of the 2011 season, and probably not before the end of the 2012 season.
As for EE's "mad" defensive skills, watch any major league third baseman and there will be numerous good plays over a season because they all tend to have excellent reflexes. I've seen the "range factor" stats and EE's unfortunately aren't outstanding.
EE may have a future with the ballclub, maybe an important one. He is reputedly a hard worker and gives the team some righty hitting which it needs. I would like to see him stay in the lineup. But I also think a position change will be explored.
However, with all the pipeline talent, there is nobody ready to step into EE's third base position. So I expect a trade for a third baseman to be a strong possibility this winter, Beltre being the obvious candidate.
Last edited by Kc61; 09-14-2008 at 03:16 PM.
I don't see how anything that amounts to a straight Beltre for Encarnacion swap would be good for the Reds future.
Player for player, it's OK, but that salary is pretty prohibitive when all you're talking about is a defensive upgrade.
Last edited by kpresidente; 09-14-2008 at 04:52 PM.
Secondly, Beltre is a free agent after next year. I don't know what deal would be in the offing after that. Worse comes to worse, Reds could let him go for draft choices or trade him next deadline for more kids. More likely, Jocketty would find a way to sign him, as he commonly did in St. Louis.
Thirdly, EE will only be cheap for a couple more years himself. He may even be arbitration eligible after next year, I'm not sure.
But mostly, the Reds now should have some salary room. They do have some escalating salaries, but have just given up the Griffey and Dunn contracts. They can afford to spend on one or two guys this off-season.
Beltre, to me, is a great candidate because he accomplishes two things at once. Adds righty power and improves defense at third. And if the Reds can make the trade without including EE, maybe he moves to left field and helps out there.
Last edited by Kc61; 09-14-2008 at 06:04 PM.
What's really interesting about him is he almost never makes a bad throw when he just reacts, but when he has time to let his mechanics get sloppy they often do. That too me is just diligence about staying on him but not in such a way to keep his confidence down. I think and this may be a bit of a reach but worth looking into, that if you could figure out what his issues are at the plate (I still maintain he needs glasses) that it would lead to better play in the field. His lack of confidence overall hurts his fielding IMO because he is playing so tentative on defense that he screws up his mechanics.
But bottom line his value is still pretty good considering his age, upside and price tag. Why get rid of him or move him off that spot when he could still pan out and perhaps just in time for his prime years. We will feel pretty silly if he finally figures things out to become a beast down there at 3rd if we let him go. I say get him an eye exam and some good coaching which again should be addressed big time by Walt this off-season.
Right now, there are eight third basemen in the major leagues with 15 errors or more. That's eight among all third basemen on all 30 teams.
Right now, there are three third basemen in major league baseball with 20 errors or more. Crede with 20, EE with 23, Reynolds with 29. So EE has the second most errors of any third sacker in major league baseball.
Now, you may say that other third basemen (those with 13 errors or 14 errors) may make additional errors in the next two weeks, so some others might get to 15. True.
But EE, currently with 23, also may make additional errors. Equally true.
As for the "range factor" mentioned in your post, Melvin Mora leads third basemen with 2.90. EE is way down the list at 2.22, according to ESPN.
As for EE's youth, he has now played 463 major league games. His fielding percentage this year, his most experienced year, is .926.
You say that EE has a "very good glove" down at third base. Please provide the statistics that reflect this.
Last edited by Kc61; 09-15-2008 at 10:30 AM.
I've been a big EE supporter for years, but it's time to recognize that his defense is not improving. On the other hand, he is a productive player offensively and is moving into what ought to be the best years of his career. He'd be much more valuable, obviously, as a third baseman than as an outfielder if he could only play the position--but he can't and he won't any better than he is right now. So the options are 1. Keep him at 3d; he's cheap and productive, though a defensive liability of major proportions; 2. Move him to LF instead of looking for a free agent or trade possibility there; 3. Move him to first and move Votto to LF. 4. Trade him. The choice depends on several other contingencies: who's available to sign or trade for in LF; how quickly Alonso develops--assuming his ultimate position is first with Votto in LF; what the righty-lefty dynamics become as some of the other needs are filled--C, CF, SS, maybe 2b if Phillips is traded. I doubt we'll see the answer on EE until some of these other questions are answered. My guess, however, is that he will be next year's left fielder on opening day.
Soto's is 4/1
Fransisco's is 6/1
To me, this means we shouldn't count on Soto as much, but his BABIP somewhat offsets his BB/SO rate, so I'm thinking he'll be a B hitter in the majors. (Fernando Tatis, maybe?)
Fransisco's BB/SO rate, combined with his dismal BABIP suggest a player with absolutely no discipline at all. MLB pitchers would eat him alive and unless something drastic changes, he's got no future in the ML.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. -- Terrance Mann (Field of Dreams)
The way things stand right now we need a left fielder. Our defense at SS &
3B is substandard. I can't see us with Gonzo at SS & EE at 3B next year.
The Beltre trade adds an above average RH power bat, improves the infield defense & may help EE ( if he worries less about his defense he may hit better ). If we keep EE at 3B and try to get a better SS we have a lot of issues. First we still need a bat for LF. Second we are stuck with Gonzo's $5M salary with no place to play. Third - who do we get. JJ Hardy may be available but the price will be way to high. No one else who is available can hit worth a lick.
They could move EE to first base for next year, which would be an obvious stopgap move awaiting Alonso. Or they could move EE to left field, and hold off moving Votto out there one more year.
It may be that somebody will get traded because everyone can't play left field or first base.
When someone can come up with a concrete, specific BETTER solution than Edwin at 3rd Base, I'll listen. Otherwise, it's just the normal complaining that goes along with consecutive losing seasons. Nothing wrong with that, but EE's one of the best Right-Handed players the REDS have going into 2009. 3rd Base isn't the place to be looking for improvements for this team, nor is EE any of the reasons why the REDS were mediocre.
The REDS are playing great right now. EE's continuing to hit. What's the problem?